Tuesday, 22 January 2013

God is a cruise ship!

This morning I helped to lead worship at our local aged care home, Mirrambeena. We had a lovely crowd of people squished into a very small room. We sang a few hymns together (the good oldies) and listened to the story of the calming of the storm. I shared with the group a current affairs story that my family have been following closely.

At present, my father-in-law and sister-in-law are about to finish a three week trip to Antarctica. This has been a trip that both of them have been looking forward to for a long time. Their trip was cut short this week, however, as their cruise ship was contacted as the nearest vessel to a French sailor who needed rescuing. The passengers were called together and informed of the situation, to which there was a resounding agreement that the life of this man was more important than their dreams of stepping foot on Antarctica.

And so, not far from Macquarie island, the ship changed course and headed back towards Tasmania to save the life of this man bobbing around in his life raft in extremely dangerous conditions. The news reports tell of how amazed the man was to have been rescued by this luxury liner. He was able to sleep that night in a pretty plush suite and have a delicious hot meal.

This story reminded me of the story of Jesus calming the storm. When we call to God for help, the answer is a resounding "Yes!". God wants to be there with us, in the thick of the storms of life. I don't know that God always calms the storm for us, but the presence of God may calm our fears and anxieties. And when God is with us, it is not only a "Yes" that we receive, it is a "Yes" with abundance. God's love is not only sufficient, but overwhelming. That is what grace is! 

I can relate to this French sailor. Imagine how humbled he would have felt when he found that these passengers had sacrificed their dream of stepping foot on Antarctica for him. Imagine his awe when he received much more than just his life, but a banquet and a 5 star suite. So, there we have it, another image of God. Our God is like the MV Orion rescuing us sinking sailors.

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